March 7th, 2013
01:28 PM ET

Osama bin Laden son-in-law, an al Qaeda spokesman, captured and brought to U.S.

Reporting from Barbara Starr and Susan Candiotti

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, who has served as an al Qaeda spokesman, was captured and has been brought to the United States, two administration officials and a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith is being held in New York, and will appear in court Friday to face federal charges, the law enforcement official said.

A sealed indictment lays out charges against him, the administration officials said.

Abu Ghaith was captured within the past week in Jordan, according to a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York.
Congress was notified when Ghaith was taken into U.S. custody, the administration officials said.

The U.S. Treasury Department has described Abu Ghaith as "the official spokesman of al Qaeda since his appointment to that position after the attacks of September 11, 2001."

He appeared in videos as "the mouthpiece of bin Laden," the department said.

Bin Laden, leader of the terrorist al Qaeda network that staged the 9/11attacks on the United States, was killed in a U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan in 2011.

FBI director in Libya to discuss Benghazi attack
FBI Director Robert Mueller
January 17th, 2013
03:05 PM ET

FBI director in Libya to discuss Benghazi attack

By Carol Cratty and Susan Candiotti

FBI Director Robert Mueller met with Libyan officials in Tripoli on Thursday for discussions about last year's deadly terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, an agency official said.

Another law enforcement official said Mueller met with the prime minister, justice minister, intelligence chief and others.

That official said the investigation of the September 11 assault has made "significant progress" and charges were expected although no timetable for action was given.

"We're still focusing on more than a dozen people," the second official said.
FULL POST

Freed Tunisian still a Benghazi suspect
January 8th, 2013
03:09 PM ET

Freed Tunisian still a Benghazi suspect

By Susan Candiotti

The  Tunisian man  held in connection with the Benghazi diplomatic mission attack remains a suspect despite being freed from detention in Tunis, according to a U.S. law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Libya investigation.

The fact that he's been freed from detention 'doesn't mean he's any less a suspect," the official said.

The source added that Ali Harzi does not appear on the security video recovered from the  Benghazi compound.

Investigators have identified at least 15 individuals that  "we're taking a serious look at," the official told CNN, explaining that some of those being scrutinized were identified on the compound video but others were not present at the scene.

The source said that ultimately, "people will be indicted [in connection with the consulate attack]; we will get indictments but it's not possible to put a timetable on it."

Read more on the story here

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Filed under: Benghazi • Libya • Tunisia
FBI to question suspect in Benghazi attack
The damage inside the burnt U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
November 3rd, 2012
08:02 PM ET

FBI to question suspect in Benghazi attack

From Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt

The FBI is expected to question a suspect in the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "in the coming days," according to a U.S. government official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

The United States first became aware of Ali Ani al Harzi when he apparently posted details of the attack on social media while it was happening.

At the request of the United States, Turkish officials detained al Harzi when he entered that country after leaving Libya. Turkey then transferred him to Tunisia, where he is being held.

"We are very pleased the Tunisian government is working with American investigators to allow in person access to Ali Ani al Harzi. Under this arrangement the interviews will be under Tunisian supervision and consistent with their sovereignty and meets the needs of our investigative team," U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss said in a statement Saturday.

Read the full CNN.com story here.

October 5th, 2012
03:13 PM ET

Tunisians questioned regarding possible role in Benghazi attack

By Susan Candiotti and Ross Levitt:

Two Tunisians are being questioned in Turkey at the request of U.S. authorities as possible suspects in the terrorist attack that killed four Americans at the U.S consulate in Benghazi, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation.  The Tunisians were on a watch list provided by the U.S. to Turkish authorities and entered the country this week, the source says.

The FBI has not had access to the Tunisians yet, according to the source, but “that’s the hope.”  The source was unable to confirm whether the suspects entered Turkey using fake passports, as has been reported by Turkish media.

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Filed under: Libya • Terrorism • Turkey
March 6th, 2012
11:18 AM ET

Hacker group members arrested

By Susan Candiotti

Authorities on Tuesday conducted a series of wide-ranging arrests of top members of LulzSec, a computer hacker group that has claimed responsibility for a string of high-profile cyber attacks on government agencies and large companies. FULL POST

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Filed under: Cybersecurity
December 9th, 2011
07:33 PM ET

Missing American's captors emailed from AfPak region

By National Correspondent Susan Candiotti

A US government official tells CNN that at least one email sent to the family of retired FBI agent Bob Levinson by captors holding him hostage
is believed to have originated in internet cafes in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Levinson's exact location remains a mystery.  In March, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement that the U.S. had "received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in southwest Asia."

At least two meetings have taken place between Iran and the United States to free Levinson, according to the same US government official
who declined to be identified because of sensitivities surrounding efforts to find the retired FBI agent.  The emergence of the proof of life last year fueled a fresh round of "discussions" between the United States and Iran, a senior diplomatic official told Susan Candiotti and Elise Labott back in March.

The discussions, not equivalent to negotiations, were described as "working level," meaning it was not conducted by senior administration officials, the official said.

The United States is awaiting action by Iran and is hopeful progress is being made, the official said.

It's unclear how or when these meetings took place, and would certainly be unusual given that the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

Since Levinson disappeared, the U-S government has said repeatedly that it hopes Iran would provide help to find out what happened to Levinson who was last seen on Iran's Kish island in 2007.. Levinson's wife and son also travelled to Iran seeking information about him.

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Filed under: Clinton • Iran • State Department